Magic Weekend squad news: Star man returns, loanees recalled and injuries bite

James Gordon
Magic Weekend preview

Picture by Alex Whitehead/

The Magic Weekend returns to St James’ Park in Newcastle this weekend, June 3/4, with all six games set to be broadcast live by Sky Sports.

Salford v Hull KR, Saturday, 1.30pm

The 2023 Magic Weekend kicks off with two of the most exciting sides in Super League going head to head.

Salford continue to punch above their weight given their resources with an exuberant style of play, while under Willie Peters, Hull KR have propelled themselves in to genuine top four contenders.

They have already met this season, with Hull KR winning 24-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium, and the Robins have in fact won the last five meetings between the two.

Hull KR boast one of the better Magic Weekend records too, winning eight of their 14 games at the event, and they also won the only previous Magic Weekend meeting between the two sides.

Salford’s former Hull FC scrum half Marc Sneyd has scored points in his last 10 games against Hull KR.

There’s added spice to the fixture too, with one of rugby league’s biggest talking points of recent weeks being Hull KR’s rejected transfer bid for Salford prop Tyler Dupree, who is named in Paul Rowley’s squad.

Rowley is without hooker Andy Ackers due to a head knock, which means ex-Wigan number nine Amir Bourouh comes in for a likely appearance, just a week after he appeared for Swinton in the Summer Bash.

Salford 21-man squad: Brierley, Sio, Watkins, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Ormondroyd, Vuniyayawa, Stone, Partington, Atkin, Addy, Dupree, Sidlow, Longstaff, Bourouh, Williams, Costello, Hellewell, Cross.

Hull KR 21-man squad: Coote, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Sue, Parcell, King, Linnett, Minchella, Litten, Kennedy, Batchelor, Storton, Lewis, Hadley, Senior, Wood, Johnson, Luckley, Laulu-Togaga’e, Hall.

Wigan v Catalans, Saturday, 3.45pm

The headline news for Wigan is that Jai Field is included in their squad, following his two-month lay-off with a hamstring injury.

Catalans’ former Wigan star Sam Tomkins responded to news of Field’s inclusion with the facepalm emoji on Twitter, though it remains to be seen if the Australian does feature and if so, where, given the excellence displayed by Bevan French at full-back in recent weeks.

Tomkins himself is a returnee for the Dragons having sat out the win over Wakefield, and he is joined in the squad by Mitchell Pearce and Alrix Da Costa – young French trio Matthieu Laguerre, Cesar Rouge and Ugo Tison drop out.

Wigan have lost at each of the last three Magic Weekends, while one of Catalans’ most famous victories came with a sensational come-from-behind win over St Helens at St James’ Park in 2021 that was decided by James Maloney’s golden point drop goal.

Wigan 21-man squad: Field, French, King, Wardle, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Powell, Byrne, Farrell, Smithies, Ellis, Shorrocks, Mago, Thornley, O’Neill, Miski, Hill, Nsemba, Forber, Hampshire.

Catalans 21-man squad: Mourgue, Yaha, May, Pearce, McMeeken, McIlorum, Bousquet, Whitley, Seguier, Garcia, Da Costa, Goudemand, Navarrete, Chan, Romano, Ikuvalu, Taukeiaho, Dezaria, Johnstone, Tomkins, Zenon.

Leeds v Castleford, Saturday, 6pm

Castleford boast one of the better records at Magic Weekend, having on nine occasions. The Rhinos too have won nine times at the event, though have played in one edition more.

The last two meetings between these two sides have finished 14-8, with one win each, including the Tigers surprise win back in March which is one of only two wins they have recorded in Super League this season.

They faced each other at Magic Weekend last season, with Leeds coming out 34-20 victors.

Tigers coach Andy Last includes winger Jason Qareqare, who has been recalled from a season-long loan at Bradford, with Alex Sutcliffe dropping out.

James McDonnell is selected in the Rhinos squad after successfully appealing a two-match ban handed to him following the defeat to St Helens.

Aidan Sezer, Harry Newman and Morgan Gannon all drop out after picking up knocks last week, but James Bentley has passed return to play protocols and is included.

Castleford 21-man squad: Turner, Fonua, Faraimo, Widdop, Miller, Lawler, McShane, Griffin, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman, Massey, Broadbent, Mustapha, Matagi, Robb, Martin, Wallis, Hall, Qareqare, Watts

Leeds 21-man squad: Myler, Macdonald, Handley, Austin, Oledzki, Bentley, Martin, Smith, O’Connor, Olpherts, Sangare, Holroyd, McDonnell, Hooley, Walters, Tindall, Roberts, Donaldson, Johnson, Ruan, Edgell.

Wakefield v Leigh, Sunday 12pm

Squad news expected Friday afternoon.

St Helens v Huddersfield, Sunday 2.15pm

Squad news expected Friday afternoon.

Hull v Warrington, Sunday 4.30pm

Squad news expected Friday afternoon.

Watch the 2023 Magic Weekend on TV

All six games at Magic Weekend are being broadcast live on Sky Sports. The games on Saturday are being shown on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event, while on Sunday, they’re all on Sky Sports Arena.

Coverage starts at 1pm on Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday.

2023 Magic Weekend ticket information

With uncertainty over the future of Magic Weekend following IMG’s recommendation to scrap the event, it is thought that an increased number of fans are planning to make the trip.

It was thought that this year’s would be the last, though talks are believed to be ongoing about retaining it in 2024 and beyond.

Tickets are available via the official Super League website, with prices starting from £20.

Day passes can be bought for Saturday or Sunday, or you can buy a weekend ticket to watch all six games. Season Ticket holders are advised to buy direct from their club to receive a 50% discount.